Metamatic – A ‘Meta-Review’ Analysis

Melody Maker 19-Jan-1980 Steve Taylor 1 POSITIVE 42
Record Mirror 19-Jan-1980 Mike Nicholls 1 POSITIVE 35
Sounds 19-Jan-1980 Dave McCullough 1 MIXED 22
Smash Hits 7-Feb-1980 Red Starr 1 POSITIVE 40
NME 9-Feb-1980 Paul Morley 1 POSITIVE 35
Trouser Press 1-Apr-1980 Stephen Grant 1 6 POSITIVE 45 219


Above is the results of the MetaReview I carried out of John Foxx ‘Metamatic’ in 2010.

The idea was to look at each review that was published of the album on its original release in January 1980 and upgrade the star rating to a common system against which I could measure all the reviews. That’s the figure in the Column 7. It’s based on positive or complimentary phrases used, buzzwords and a general air or feeling expressed by the reviewer. The mark is out of 50.

Using that score, I then simply divided by the number of reviews considered and came up with an average.

That average is shown in the top line, and determines the banding I applied to the album

41 – 50 = Considered EXCELLENT

31 – 40 = Considered GOOD

21 – 30 = Considered FAIR

11 – 20 =  Considered POOR

0 – 10 = Considered RUBBISH


Of course, this is all for fun and based mostly on my own judgement. I like to think it is a fairly objective system but who knows.

But it seems to have worked out. After Metamatic, John Foxx was largely condemned in the UK Music Press in the 1980s, though he did fare much better overseas. Germany and Japan in particular gave him high regard As I can only read English, the only reviews I have considered are those published in the English language (from UK, Australia or US), so there is some bias there I suppose.

I just want more foreign language reviews.
So if you have any, please submit them to form part of the official archive at Metamatic . com







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